Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg “Likes” Chan and Weds 1 day after IPO


Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has ended a hectic week which saw his company valued at £106bn after a stock market flotation by getting married.

 Zuckerberg has updated his relationship status to “married”

He wed his long-time girlfriend Priscilla Chan, 27, in a ceremony at his home in Palo Alto, California.

Chan also had a busy week, graduating from medical school on Monday, as Zuckerberg marked his 28th birthday.

The guests believed they were going to celebrate Chan’s graduation – but found they were at a wedding instead.

The wedding ring, a “very simple ruby”, was designed by Zuckerberg.

Nine years ago the pair met at Harvard, where Zuckerberg founded Facebook in 2004.

They later moved to California, where Facebook has its headquarters, and Chen studied at the medical school of the University of California, San Francisco.

On Monday, Zuckerberg turned 28 and Chan graduated from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, where she’d studied pediatrics.

Then on Friday, Zuckerberg took his blue-and-white web behemoth public in one of the most anticipated stock offerings in Wall Street history.

The seemingly well-coordinated timing was largely a coincidence, the guest said. The wedding had been planned for months and the couple was waiting for Chan to finish medical school, but the date of the IPO was a “moving target” not known when the wedding was set.

Attendees, including Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, were told after they arrived that they were not mere party guests but wedding guests.

“Everybody was shocked,” the guest said.

The person would not discuss the names of others who attended to protect their privacy.

Ditching his trademark hoodie and sneakers, Zuckerberg sported a dark blue suit and tie with a white shirt for the ceremony, while Chan wore a traditional white wedding dress with veil and lace.

Food was served family-style and included dishes from the couple’s favorite Palo Alto sushi restaurant.

Zuckerberg met Chan at Harvard, where he founded Facebook in a dorm room in 2004, and have been together for more than nine years.

Chan’s own Facebook page, which now lists her as married to the founder, said she is a native of Braintree, Mass., and attended high school in nearby Quincy.

She graduated Harvard in 2007 then taught science to fourth and fifth graders at the Harker School in San Jose for two years before starting medical school, according to her profile.

Her page also says she “loves cooking and soft things.”

Even after the IPO, Zuckerberg, who grew up in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., remains Facebook’s single largest shareholder, with 503.6 million shares, and he controls the company with 56% of its voting stock.

The site has grown into a worldwide network of almost a billion people and made its founder, Time magazine’s Person of the Year in 2010, one of the most famous businessmen of the Internet age.

Facebook’s valuation after its flotation on Friday means the social network site is worth about the same as internet shopping giant Amazon, and more than the value of stalwarts such as Disney.

Even after the flotation, Zuckerberg continues to control just under 56% of the voting power of the company.

Zuckerberg “Likes” Chan and Weds

In a quiet backyard celebration Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook married his long-time girlfriend, Pricilla Chan at his home in Palo Alto, CA today.  Guests were told they were celebrating Chan’s graduation from medical school and were shocked to learn that the event was actually a wedding. The bride graduated from University of California San Francisco with a doctorate earlier this week, on the same day as Zuckerberg’s birthday. About 100 guests attended the affair.

Zuckerberg tipped off the press to the nupials when he changed his status to “married” on his Facebook page.  He shared the photo above on his Facebook page and on his timeline, along with a photo from the stock exchange. AP reported the story.

The bride wore an elegant long, white wedding dress with a delicate lace overlay. The wedding ring was simple ruby, designed by Zuckerberg. The groom wore a serious dark suit with a narrow tie, not his casual garb with his signature hoodie.

The wedding was the final ceremony of a bruising week that included the highly-anticipated IPO of Facebook, which broke records on market capitalization for internet companies.

The couple dated for eight years before the wedding. They met at Harvard University when Facebook was in its early phases. They had been planning the wedding for months and decided to wait until after Chan graduated. The timing was not related to the date of Facebook IPO, which had been in flux for weeks due to SEC delays. Zuckerberg turned 28 this week and Chan is 27

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Facebook Seeks Political Ad Dollars


Political advertisers are going to flock to FB this year

There’s certainly money in politics, and Facebook knows it. The company, now under pressure to to justify its enormous $104 billion IPO, is trying to hire someone to maximize political advertising sales during the 2012 election season in the U.S.

“The Client Partner will establish and strengthen key relationships with national political campaigns and organizations with a focus on driving revenue, platform adoption, advertiser education, and advertiser satisfaction,” the posting on Facebook’s website says.

How much money is in politics for Facebook? That’s hard to say. But with the rise of the Super PAC, campaign spending on advertising will likely reach record-breaking levels this year. A growing percentage of that is moving online, in part because fewer people are watching live TV than during previous election years, according to the global ad agency WPP. The Hill reports that the Obama campaign alone is on track to spend $35 million on total online advertising this year, up from $16 million in 2008.

Unlike other advertisers that have questioned the value of Facebook this week, both the Romney and Obama presidential campaigns are likely to appreciate Facebook’s importance. It had 40 million U.S. users in 2008 compared with 160 million today—almost the entire American voting public, according to The Guardian.

So, yes, we’ll be seeing a lot more politics in and next to our News Feeds over the next few months, targeted based on our activity and our friends’ activity on the network. Whether the lifting of corporate spending limits on political campaigns, a result of a Supreme Court decision in 2010, will actually be a meaningful boost Facebook’s bottom line this year is unknown. The company’s total advertising revenue worldwide was about $3 billion in 2011.

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Consumers’ Debt trap of payday loans in UK


MAN HOLDING A HANDFUL OF BANKNOTES

A third of people experienced greater financial problems as a result of taking out a payday loan, according to Which?

Payday loans are trapping increasing numbers of consumers in a downward spiral of debt caused by exorbitant penalty charges, a consumer group has warned.

More than 60pc of people who take out payday loans are using the money for household bills or buying other essentials like food, nappies and petrol, a survey by Which? found.

The figures show an “alarming” picture of people trapped in debt caused by penalty charges because they cannot afford to pay back the loan on time, the watchdog said.

A quarter (25pc) of those who had taken out loans said they had been hit with hidden charges such as high fees for reminder letters, and one in five (18pc) were not able to pay back their loan on time.

A third of people (33pc) experienced greater financial problems as a result of taking out a payday loan, and 45pc of them were hit with unexpected charges.

Which? said the debt trap was compounded with 57pc being encouraged to take out further loans and 45pc rolling over their loans at least once.

A third of people (33pc) were bombarded with unsolicited calls, texts and emails before they had even signed an agreement.

The investigation of 34 payday loans companies’ websites also found that customers could face a £150 charge by one company, Quid24.com, if they repaid their loan 10 days late. Most of the companies failed to show clearly their charges or charged excessive amounts for defaulting.

Consumers were also potentially being allowed to take on credit they could not afford, with eight out of 34 companies failing to carry out any credit checks as part of their approval procedure and nearly two-thirds of those surveyed not asked about any aspect of their financial situation apart from their salary.

Some websites failed to provide any terms and conditions and many of those that did had little or no information about a borrower’s rights and obligations or references to free debt advice.

Which? is calling on the Office of Fair Trading to enforce existing consumer credit and lending rules that already apply to payday loans firms and to restrict the default charges that payday loans companies can charge.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: “With 1.2 million people taking out a payday loan last year, it is unacceptable for this rapidly growing number of people to be inadequately protected from extortionate charges and dodgy marketing techniques.

“At its worst, this booming £2bn industry can be seriously bad news for borrowers who are struggling to afford food or pay their bills. People are getting caught up in a debt trap, whacked with high penalty charges, or encouraged to roll over payments and take out more loans at inflated rates.

“The regulator should properly enforce the existing rules that apply to this industry, but they must go further and impose a cap on the amount that lenders can charge for defaulting.

The Government should also now explore other ways to protect hard-pressed borrowers, including Australian-style measures to cap costs and promote affordable alternatives.”

Consumer Focus director of financial services Sarah Brooks said: “This research throws up some extremely troubling findings and poses many uncomfortable questions about the growing payday loan sector.

We have long held concerns about the behaviour of some payday lenders and whether consumers are losing out because this industry is not regulated strongly enough.

“Our research in 2010 showed problems with inadequate affordability checks and borrowers being offered multiple new loans or roll-overs on existing loans. Which?’s findings suggest that problems have worsened in this industry and that more borrowers are finding themselves caught in debt traps. Millions are turning to these loans in the current economic climate and it is usually those on lower incomes that suffer most.

“This work is timely given the OFT’s compliance review of payday lenders. There is clearly a continuing problem with payday loans and this should give further incentive, if any is needed, for the OFT to act quickly to protect consumers from spiralling debt.” – Telegrah

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